Inspired by the multigrain cranberry breads that are so popular in high-end American bakeries, and responding to numerous requests from students in our recent Gourmet Gluten-Free Baking course, Exquisite Dish is proud to present this recipe for dairy-free, gluten-free buckwheat cranberry dinner rolls. These rolls fulfill a common desire for hearty, rustic rolls unlike any gluten-free rolls available commercially. They are crusty on the outside yet tender and sweet on the inside, with a mix of berries and nuts (or seeds) giving them a diverse flavor profile and chew. Their high-fiber, nutrient-dense qualities give them a huge edge over the most common gluten-free breads. It goes without saying that these rolls represent the culmination of considerable research and development, including one bread "cookie" (that still tasted surprisingly good!), and helped us unlock several new mysteries of gluten-free baking.
With the below ingredients you can make as many as fourteen to sixteen dinner rolls. If you prefer two boules, which are rustic French-style round or ball-shaped loaves, you can do that by following the alternate directions, or you can make half of the dough into rolls and the other half into one loaf.
We have also provided guidance for those who wish to make their bread gum-free, although we prefer the texture and shape of the breads made with xanthan gum. The rolls are excellent served hot out of the oven with butter or margarine, made into a sandwich with curried tuna salad, or topped with soft goat cheese, fig jam and arugula. We hope they find their way onto your table many times a year.
In the fortunate event of leftovers, be advised that the bread and rolls also freeze well. Bread should be cooled to room temperature and sliced before freezing in an airtight container. It is best reheated by toasting or broiling. The rolls should be wrapped individually in foil after they have completely cooled and then frozen. To reheat, transfer the wrapped rolls directly from the freezer into a hot oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes.
1 c potato starch (142g)
¾ c buckwheat flour (97g)
¾ c millet flour (100g)
½ c amaranth flour (51g)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dry active yeast (15g)
1 tsp kosher salt (4g)
1 Tbsp sugar (15g)
1 Tbsp chia meal (8g)
2 tsps xanthan gum (8g) or 1 Tbsp (10g) gelatin powder*
2 tsps cider vinegar (10 mL)
1/3 c canola or olive oil (80mL)
1 c unsweetened almond or coconut milk (240mL), warmed to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit
½ c walnuts (60g) (or 75g toasted pepitos)
¾ c dried cranberries (95g)
glutinous rice flour for shaping dough
canola spray for coating the resting bowls, if making loaves instead of rolls
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all dry ingredients from potato starch through xanthan gum on low speed. Add eggs, vinegar, canola oil, and almond milk on medium speed and gradually increase to high speed once all ingredients have been incorporated. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until it has formed a smooth dough with webbing that stretches from the paddle to the side of the bowl. Stop and scrape down the bowl with a wet rubber spatula. Then add the cranberries and nuts or seeds and mix on low for 5-10 seconds or until they are dispersed throughout the dough.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of glutinous rice flour on a clean kitchen counter and then use a wet spatula and a spoon to scoop out a lump of dough that is larger than a racquet ball but smaller than a tennis ball. Place it in the center of the flour and use floured hands to roll it into a smooth ball. It should be only slightly sticky, if at all, when you are done shaping it. Transfer the ball to the pan lined with parchment and repeat the process until you have used up all the dough and have at least fourteen rolls.
Alternately, to create two boules, or rustic round loaves, instead, spray two medium oven-proof bowls (preferably the bowls will have narrow bottoms and tall, straight sides) with gluten-free olive or canola oil spray. Set aside. Divide the dough in half with a wet spatula and, working with one half at a time, work enough glutinous rice flour into the dough so that it forms a smooth, barely sticky ball. Transfer this dough ball into one of the oiled bowls and repeat the process with the second half.
Cover the formed dough balls with plastic wrap or a moist towel and place them in a warm place (ideally 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit) to rest for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (375 degrees if making boules).
When the oven is preheated and the dough has risen, remove the covering and place the tray of rolls on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-22 minutes or until the rolls are browned on top and bottom and have a firm crust. In the case of the boules, there is a choice either to bake them in the oven-proof bowls, or, for a more rustic look, use a wet spatula to gently transfer the dough balls onto opposite ends of the parchment-lined baking sheet. Either way, bake the loaves at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. If the bread seems to be browning unevenly, rotate the pan 180 degrees after 15 or 20 minutes to encourage more even baking. The bread is done when loaves have browned well, have a firm exterior and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
*If using gelatin instead of xanthan, a few adjustments will increase the likelihood of success. First, add ¼ cup of glutinous rice flour directly to the bowl after beating the liquids into the dough and before adding the nuts and berries. Also, it is imperative that dough made with gelatin be baked in oiled, oven-proof bowls with narrow bottoms and straight, as opposed to heavily slanted, high sides. Otherwise, the bread lacks the structure needed to support the risen dough throughout baking and will collapse into a thick pancake. Finally, the bread may need to bake an additional five minutes longer than the standard recipe.